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Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation Update

Mountain Pine Beetle infestation in pine trees in the Estes Valley has been nominal this past season, though a number of trees were attacked and killed. Our thanks to the Town Board for providing the air curtain to dispose of beetle-infested logs from Estes Valley residents.

Officials from Rocky Mountain National Park have revealed that their preventive spraying of about 5,000 pine trees around the eastern camp grounds and administration buildings was nearly 100% effective. This is really good news! The Park has learned that the same trees must be sprayed every year for continuous protection. Preventive spraying in the Estes Valley may not have reached this effectiveness, but nearly all trees sprayed were protected.

Park officials also revealed that protection by the pheromone packets was only about 60 % effective. Pine trees adjacent to the ones on which the pheromone packets were attached received no protection.  In the Estes Valley the results of pheromone protection were good, however, adjacent pines were not protected. If residents wish to continue the use of pheromone packets, they should plan to attach the packets to trees during the first two weeks of July to get the most protection.

Estes Valley residents are urged to check the pine trees on their home sites for evidence of attacks this past season. Trees attacked by MPB usually have many pitch tubes on the barks. Pitch tubes resemble wads of red, orange or white gum stuck to the bark.  Some trees may be too weak to exude sap and in these cases, very fine reddish sawdust may be found around the base of the trunks. If residents should find a suspected beetle-attacked tree, please call Tracy Feagens at the Town of Estes Park, at 577-3588 for an inspection.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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